On May 8, 2020, Seto Marselian, d/b/a Bistro Pazzo filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S District Court for the Northern District of California against its lender. (case number 3:20-cv-03166.) Plaintiff is represented by Bottini & Bottini, Inc.

Plaintiff is a restaurant owner who submitted a PPP loan application to its lender, and alleges that the lender wrongful denied the application. Specifically, plaintiff alleges that the lender engaged in wrongful conduct by (1) initially limiting applications to those businesses who had a pre-existing lending relationship with the lender; and/or (2) prioritizing loan applications from larger companies seeking higher loan amounts because processing those applications first generated larger loan origination fees for the bank. As a result, plaintiff alleges that small and minority owned businesses — those who were supposed to be helped by the PPP program —were shut out of the PPP loan program and big businesses were favored. Plaintiff seeks to represent a class of all individuals and small businesses in the United States that met the criteria for receiving a loan under the PPP and who timely applied for a PPP loan through their lender, but whose applications were not processed and/or who were not issued loans.

Relying on these allegations, plaintiff asserted causes of action for violation of California Civil Code section 1710 (Intentional Misrepresentation), Unjust Enrichment, violation of the Business & Professions Code sections 17200, 17500 (False Advertising), and an accounting. The defendant has not yet responded to the complaint.